Friday 3 November 2017

Finance Fridays – Costs of heating

We were looking at courier and postage charges for last week's Finance Fridays. This week we talking about the costs of heating. We don't usually turn our heating on until November but the shorter days really makes things seem colder. Heating your home can be a big financial worry for many people but there are many ways you can keep costs down.

Check your tariff
– If you have central heating it is one of those things which the cost of it has no affect on the quality of it. No matter what you pay what comes into your home will be the same if you are on an expensive standard variable tariff or opt for a cheaper tariff. What may differ is how that heating is produced. A 'green' or 'eco' tariff is one where the source of the energy is 100% produced from renewable means such as wind farms, hydropower or solar power. Often fully green tariffs are more expensive than other tariffs but most tariffs are now based on power produced from at least 10% of renewable sources.

Make your own power – You don't have to rely on an energy company to supply all of your power these days. One of the easiest ways to generate your own power is by installing your own solar panels on the roof of your property. They work best if you have a south-facing roof but you could also get power from ones which face east or west. The essential requirement is that they do not spend most of the day in the shade.

Be in control – These days central heating systems can be far more sophisticated than just a thermostat dial and a timer box. If you have a smart phone or tablet you can have a digital system such as Hive or Nest installed. From an app you can control when your heating comes on and at what temperature. So if you know you are going to be home later than expected instead of heating an empty home you can set it to come on later or not at all.

Turn it down
– People are always surprised by the difference turning down your thermostat can make. By just popping it down by 1°C you could save around 10% or £85 on average. If you are worried about your home not being warm enough go round and check all vulnerable points such as windows and doors. Close internal doors so the heating isn't escaping into areas you are not in. If your windows seem draughty a quick fix can to seal them with insulation tape. Also pull curtains in the evening.

Get it serviced
– A heating system will perform at its best and most efficient if it is serviced regularly. A good engineer will also be able to pick up any minor faults and fix them before it gets any more serious.

Do you worry about heating costs? What do you do to keep bills down?

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 7th November 2017 to join in.
Finance Fridays

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